Gluten-Free Simplicity

Useful Info, Tasty Anecdotes and Simple Recipes for Attaining Gluten-Free Simplicity

Archive for the ‘100 Ways to G-F Simplicity’ Category

During a productive brainstorming session, this blogger found that he could readily list 100 (and more) ways for a person to facilitate the process of attaining Gluten-Free Simplicity. Over the next months, these ideas will be listed. (c. 2008, William T. Beverly, Ph.d.)

#45: Keep that Isolation in Check on the Way Toward Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on October 6, 2009

#45: Keep that Isolation in Check on the Way Toward Gluten-Free Simplicity

  Ever just wish you could be alone?  Of course you do.  Probably everyone does here and there.  But…… what if it is more often than one thinks is normal?  “Maintaining a strictly gluten-free diet can cause feelings of isolation” according to an article about Gluten Free Online Social Communities by Marissa Carter (Sept. 29, 2009).  She writes,

“It is hard for these people to adjust to the food culture in America, knowing that every bite of food they eat may cause them to get sick. Ordering at restaurants becomes a chore and attending dinner parties becomes a major challenge. Often, they begin feeling like they are a burden to others. Even people who have very supportive parents, spouses and friends feel the need to reach out to others who will really understand them.”  Read More.

  All I can say directly to her opinion is, “I heard that!!!”  This is one good reason for my present posting.  Watch out for that tendency to isolate.  Yes, some isolation is probably very good for the soul.  But, too much can be dangerous.    And do I isolate on purpose when I do isolate?  No…. not always…

An Isolated Bump on a Far Away Planet (c.2009, WTB)

Sometimes, I Just Feel Like an Isolated Bump on a Far Away Planet (c.2009, WTB)

  But I do (I really really do) sometimes feel like I am a lone bump on a far away planet.  Once in a while,  I get a feeling that I am all alone.  The metamessages at almost any social meal time, grocery trip, and other times and places are often seeming to beckon me into an isolative state where it no longer feels strange or hurtful to have to be so different when it comes to one of almost every human being’s most basic functions — eating.

  The problem though… isolation can lead to lots of other problems. (eg., depression, feeling left out, getting behind etc…).  Just think about it this way…   If a person is isolated then they can begin to think things and form habits that are all wrong.  The reality checks inherent in social interaction can often be very healing.  Like if I am feeling really down on myself for something that I did and I am wondering if I did THE WRONG THING….  I can  often turn to a trusted friend or colleague and ask for their take on it.  It is soooooo wonderful for me when I do so after wringing my hands for hours… only to find that I actually did the right thing afterall.

  Also… there can be lots of good healing energy out there in public with loved ones, friends, family and colleagues for those of us with Celiac Disease.  NOT ALWAYS… of course…  there are unfortunately times when either due to one of their comments or one of my inferences, I feel like being alone instead.  But still in all, yes, sometimes, it just feels so good to be alive and around good people.

  So if you are one of us who is often finding yourself alone and feeling lonely… do something about it!  Here are a few ideas:

  • Go online as Carter suggests and seek out information or just chat.
  • Try to prepare a Gluten-Free recipe, then offer a review to the author.
  • Take a walk and make a point to say hello to a person.
  • Call an old friend or family member and ask them how they are doing.
  • Stop by a restaurant, health food or grocery store and politely ask responsive staff members about their Gluten-Free selection.
  • Write a letter to a manufacturer, a publication or a friend about something that you feel passionate about (i.e., Celiac Disease or Gluten-Free Living).

I am sure you can probably come up with even better ideas.  Go ahead and do something.  And just so I don’t get too lonely, Please let me know how it turns out.

Posted in 100 Ways to G-F Simplicity | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

#44: Go With the Flow When Ever You Can on the Way Toward Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on October 3, 2009

#44: Go With the Flow When Ever You Can on the Way Toward Gluten-Free Simplicity

  Things Change.  Change changes.  And things stay the same until they change again…. sometimes.  In other words: We Cannot Control Everything.  Right? 

Change Happens! (c.2009, WTB)

Change Happens! (c.2009, WTB)

Let me know if you can cause I sure could use your help.

  I trust life can really be a whole lot simpler for me when I try NOT to obsess over stuff that is beyond my control.

  No,  I cannot control the fact that I have Celiac Disease — or even Crohn’s for that matter.  But I can try to control my level of Gluten-Freeness.

  I certainly feel better when I am Gluten-Free.  And any person with Celiac Disease is likely to have a brighter future when that future is as  Gluten-Free as possible.

  So, I guess this is mostly about accepting that which ONE cannot change (having CD); and then trying to exert some power and take some responsibility for what ONE can at least try and change (her/his level of Gluten-Freeness).

  It’s like as the Winter comes, the green leaves on the trees will begin to turn and eventually fall away.  This is something — like Celiac Disease — that apparently cannot be prevented under normal (or natural)  circumstances.  ONE CANNOT Typically STOP THAT.

  On the other hand, as  the temperature gets lower, ONE can typically choose whether or not to put on warmer clothing.  One might even find that as they warm up, the leaves begin to look really charming as they change.  That is until you get stuck as the one having to rake the dead ones up off of the lawn.

  Bottom Line: I still sometimes grieve my Celiac Disease in my own special ways.  But I am NOW working like the Dickens to maintain a high level of Gluten-Freeness.  And this way, my life seems a whole lot better. 

  I hope this makes sense to you too.

Posted in 100 Ways to G-F Simplicity | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Way #43: Forgive that Depressing Depression to Find a Way toward Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on September 26, 2009

Way #43: Forgive that Depressing Depression to Find a Way toward Gluten-Free Simplicity

  I have been doing really well with my gluten abstinence for the past couple of months.  I have fought off several relapse temptations and some really cool and effective pro-activity has kept my belly pretty happy at the same time.

  So….. why then am I soooooo depressed today?  

Logically speaking: There have been a couple of things in my space for just the past few days that have been somewhat intimidating, ruthless and unforgiving of me for who I am.

Emotionally speaking:I whine because  I figured that if I were Gluten-Free… like totally G-F>>>> then I would not have such troubles.

  OK … So… wake up.  Yes… being G-F is really super good for me.  AND… there are likely to be occasional moments of depression, particularly when faced with certain super negative energies….  Sooooo I guess… I can make the Gluten go away…. But I cannot always make certain other things go away.   Bummer?

  Meanwhile… I can try to forgive my moments of depression for now.  And I can dig my toe into the ground in order to push off and move on down the road again.  And best of all… I can do so with the confidence that builds each time I go through such junkyards and still avoid a pity party which can lead to a Gluten-Relapse-Fest….

  I forgive myself for feeling depressed this time.

Posted in 100 Ways to G-F Simplicity, G-F PsychoBabble | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

Way #42: Don’t Be Afraid to Alter Your Course on the Road to Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on July 23, 2009

Way #42: Don’t Be Afraid to Alter Your Course on the Road to Gluten-Free Simplicity

  As with most things worth doing, there are bound to be various lessons learned, newly discovered realities and failed trials as one seeks a truely Gluten-Free life.

  It is not easy to live Gluten-Free.  On the other hand; the more one learns about how to do so, the easier it will likely be.

  Thus, I confidently recommend that one be ready and energized to change courses whenever such a move is deemed wise.

  We are only human.  So go for it!!!

  If nothing else… once going in the other direction, one can always turn around yet again…

Posted in 100 Ways to G-F Simplicity | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Way #41: Get a Little Obsessed for a While with ENERGY in order to faciliate your journey to Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on July 9, 2009

Way #41: Get a Little Obsessed for a While with ENERGY in order to facilitate your journey to Gluten-Free Simplicity

  First off… This is about HEALTHY Energy… OK??? I find that much of my Celiac-related foiballing is related to my serious and chronic lack of energy.  I have tried sooooo many things…. caffeine, sugar, protein snacks, B-vitamins… etc….  I won’t even mention some of the things I have tried….  I am sure you already can guess based on your own experiences.
 

Gluten-Free Energy: Does it radiate? (c.2009, WTB)

Gluten-Free Energy: Does it radiate? (c.2008, WTB)

 

 

 
  BUT what could Gluten-Free Energy look like? 

  This is about getting a little obsessed with this issue for a while so that you can learn about:

  1. Your own energy needs;
  2. The vast variety of G-F energy options that are healthy; and
  3. About which ones of these healthy energy options work for you individually.

  To start out, one might construct a chart to monitor one’s experiences of energy in her/his own life over the next month.  This can be a really simple qualitative, journal-type thingee where one simply notes what they consumed (including supplements) in the left column and how they felt in the hours afterward in the right column.

  Do this for about a month and it can be revealing for almost anyone. I have tried it and it really helps.

  I have researched and written about some of this before in several postings.  Just type in the word “energy” in the “search” box on this page (look up and to your right) and you will find some of them.

  For now… just think… what would my world look like if I had more good energy?

Posted in 100 Ways to G-F Simplicity | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Way #40: Awareness of one’s Celiac-Related Painful Feelings might help one move toward Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on June 22, 2009

Way #40: Awareness of one’s Celiac-Related Painful Feelings might help one move toward Simplicity

  Life is not easy.  It is just that simple.  And for people with Celiac Disease, one could argue, that life is a bit more complicated, thus LESS easy that it is for many others.

  And I truly believe that not one of us deserves the Extra Pain that Celiac Disease provides for us.  I really do.

  With these assorted and abundant extra pains of ours naturally come emotions…  I mean it would be normal if we actually felt some emotions in their wake.  It is these emotions that I am writing about here.

  I get depressed, shamed, angry, wanna isolate, feel rage, serious bouts of loss, etc….. etc….. etc…..

  And that is probably a lot like many other people — with or without Celiac Disease.

  What is different though, is that we tend to get a whole lot of it and on a pretty consistent basis.  Sure, I find that the more I am able to live in a Gluten-Free way, the better I feel….  But there seems always to still be that train in that tunnel that is heading straight for me when ever I decide to acknowledge it.

  So I am just saying here that when we have such feelings, they tend to show on us… no matter what we do to hide them.  So then, rather than denying them, why not allow ourselves to feel them (within reason and safety limits)?

  FOr us with Celiac Disease, it seems these pains and their emotions are gonna come and go…. but probably come again, more often than any of our non-CD folks can really understand.

  So I am suggesting that the first step to dealing with all of that will be to accept them as part of our normal daily life… and then try to be aware of them as we learn more and more constructive ways of channelling the enormous bounty of energy they tend to generate into increasingly positive outcomes…

  Try it.  I am trying to try it… my self.

Posted in 100 Ways to G-F Simplicity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Way#39: Use Critical Thinking to Facilitate Gluten-Free Simplicity in Your Life

Posted by nepeht on June 20, 2009

Way#39: Use Critical Thinking to Facilitate Gluten-Free Simplicity in Your Life

  Clearing away the B.S. to help illuminate reality might help facilitate simplicity in a gluten-free life.  Life, and in particular life during periods of serious challenges such as going gluten-free, can be unnecessarily difficult when paying too much attention to invalid and unreliable information.

   According to its Wikipedia entry, critical thinking can be defined as:

Critical thinking consists of mental processes of discernment, analysis and evaluation. It includes possible processes of reflecting upon a tangible or intangible item in order to form a solid judgment that reconciles scientific evidence with common sense. In contemporary usage “critical” has a certain negative connotation that does not apply in the present case.[1] Though the term “analytical thinking” may seem to convey the idea more accurately, critical thinking clearly involves synthesis, evaluation, and reconstruction of thinking, in addition to analysis.

Critical thinkers gather information from all senses, verbal and/or written expressions, reflection, observation, experience and reasoning. Critical thinking has its basis in intellectual criteria that go beyond subject-matter divisions and which include: clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, logic, significance and fairness.

  What does this say to you?

  Well, to me it says in simplifying my gluten-free life I need to frequently rethink my assumptions so that I can better understand the facts.

  For example, I often find myself looking up whether or not a grocery item brand contains gluten.  And this is a good thing.  Why?  Because manufacturers often alter ingredients.  They can do this for their own reasons and they do do this.  Many of them will advise curious consumers that while the current version of a given product is “Gluten-Free”, one should always read the labels in order to rule out a change that has lead to Gluten-Contamination of said product.  See this listing at Gluten-Free Brands for another example.

  So, when using Critical Thinking: even if an item has “TRADITIONALLYNOT contained Gluten, it may be wise to reconsider this possibility each and every time you purchase a new batch. 

  Sure… it is a lot of work… But it can make life much more simple.  At least it is becoming more and more worth it to me.  How about for you?

Posted in 100 Ways to G-F Simplicity | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Learn More!

Posted by nepeht on June 8, 2009

Click here for a list of Books and Guides Related to Celiac Disease and Gluten-Free Living.

Posted in 100 Ways to G-F Simplicity | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Way #38: Move beyond the fear that your “food world” is NOW severely limited on your way to Gluten-Free Simplicity.

Posted by nepeht on January 20, 2009

Way #38: Move beyond the fear that your “food world” is NOW severely limited on your way to Gluten-Free Simplicity.

  OK.. I know… I can’t stand it when someone tells me, “You can’t do that any more.”  Oh.. I get soooo upset at that sometimes.

  So for me when it came to the Doctor’s Gluten speech.  I had lots of emotional reactions.  Even for years following my diagnosis.  Did you?

  I can admit it… YES, sometimes I got issues with authority.  Even if their rulings are really in my own best interest…  How bout you?  If you did could you admit it?  I get even more riled up when it is regarding something I love and I am used to like Cakes, lots of bread with every meal etc… That’s not to mention those hidden sources of Gluten.  And in short, this resistance leads to lots of self-destruction for me.

  Allowing anyone (especially an Authority Figure) tell me “NO MORE” of anything, is hard for me to do.  But once I admitted this to myself, I could more readily reverse my self-destructive tendencies — and my perverse need to spite the authorities.

  Then, I  could start to heal.

  It is frustrating though, with or without authority issues… to be told you cannot do this or your can no longer eat that.  Yes it is!  And at the moment it may seem like  ones world has now been severely limited.

  But I found that when I opened my mind, and I got real curious about other cultures that were NOT necessarily wheat-based there was hope.  Particularly cultures with in climates other than U.S. climates, I found cuisines (e.g., Mexican, Asian, Indian etc…) that I could enjoy, with lots of choices.

  I had to admit to myself that there is a whole world out there.  This world is full of great food ideas.  And sooo sooo soooooo many of them are naturally Gluten-Free.

  I just had to let go of the resistance and get on a more open-minded pathway.

  I started to experiment a lot and I found that there are bountiful options available to me.  Sure, there are always the various newly developed wheat-substitute/fake items.  And I praise those kitchen adventurers who are seeking to make items that used to be made with wheat — without wheat.  More power to them!  I do that too.

  But as I let go of trying to replicate U.S.-type wheat-based items (like Wonder Bread, Cheerios or Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup).   And I have to say again, “those gals and guys who work hard in their kitchens to replicate typically gluten-filled foods without Gluten are angels — they really are”.  But my kitchen ain’t got one of them these days.  So I got to find alternatives.

  I started to explore other cultures.  And I was truly learning – not just about food either!!! 

  As the Gluten-Free Girl will tell you, there is a life beyond Wonder Bread — even though I really did love that stuff.

  Try new foods.  Try new cultures.  Think about climate and how it effects food choices.  Think about centuries of climate influencing food choices and the unlimited bounty of cuisine choices that can create.

  I tried to let go of those boundaries that kept me within a certain mindset of what is -, and is not NORMAL food.

  Give it a shot.  You might discover a whole new world.

 

* Helpful Hint/Notes:

add to del.icio.us : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook

Posted in 100 Ways to G-F Simplicity, G-F PsychoBabble | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Way #37: Soul Searching About Long-Term Effects of Gluten Relapse Might Help Point Toward Gluten-Free Simplicity

Posted by nepeht on January 5, 2009

Way #37: Soul Searching About Long Term Effects of Gluten Relapse Might Help Point Toward Gluten-Free Simplicity.

  In the short-term, exposure to Gluten or Gluten-Relapse for those attempting to live Gluten-Free, has varying effects on different people.  This can run from headaches, gas, other gastro problems, skin irritation, moodiness etc… to fatigue, histamine reactions and body pains.

  In the long-term, the effects of Gluten-Relapse are not 100% clear to the Scientific Community. 

  But don’t go into Denial just yet. 

Sometimes Gluten-Denial can set in like sky hooks of light (c.2009, WTB)

Sometimes Gluten-Denial can set in like sky hooks of light (c.2009, WTB)

 Let me put it this way.  In 2001, a research article reported:

“There are no conclusive data on the threshold of gluten sensitivity of coeliac patients. Information as to the long-term risk to coeliac patients exposed to small doses of gliadin is lacking. Therefore, every effort should be made to keep the diet of coeliac patients as gluten-free as possible” http://www.eurojgh.com/pt/re/ejgh/abstract.00042737-200106000-00023.htm;jsessionid=Jp5R7Tlp4q2LwvfC00j6JYyZDhvXQP1LdRJfzS4d1vhDyTlW7QfG!-482373940!181195629!8091!-1.

  One needs to first understand that the act of Science is careful, logical, deliberate and very slow.  This is OK.  If we hurried it up too much then scientific findings would be even less valid and reliable than they sometimes are.

  In a study of long-term follow-up of Celiac patients on a Gluten-Free Diet, researchers in 2002 reported,

“Celiac disease is often poorly controlled in the majority of patients on long-term treatment with a gluten-free diet as demonstrated by intestinal biopsy. Lack of adherence to strict gluten-free diet is the main reason of poorly controlled disease in adults” http://content.karger.com/ProdukteDB/produkte.asp?Aktion=ShowAbstract&ArtikelNr=000066757&Ausgabe=228780&ProduktNr=223838.

  In short, these articles and additional information tell us that:

  1. For a person with Celiac Disease, no amount of Gluten is known to be safe, and
  2. In the long-term, persons with Celiac Disease, even persons who are reportedly on a Gluten-Free diet, have a difficult time keeping the Celiac Disease under control.
  3. “The only treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet. Doctors may ask a newly diagnosed person to work with a dietitian on a gluten-free diet plan.” http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac/index.htm. “To stay well, people with celiac disease must avoid gluten for the rest of their lives. Eating even a small amount of gluten can damage the small intestine. The damage will occur in anyone with the disease, including people without noticeable symptoms. Depending on a person’s age at diagnosis, some problems will not improve, such as short stature and dental enamel defects”  http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac/index.htm.

  Meanwhile, if not able to become and stay Gluten-Free, it is back to:

“abdominal bloating and pain
chronic diarrhea
vomiting
constipation
pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stool
weight loss
unexplained iron-deficiency anemia
fatigue
bone or joint pain
arthritis
bone loss or osteoporosis
depression or anxiety
tingling numbness in the hands and feet
seizures
missed menstrual periods
infertility or recurrent miscarriage
canker sores inside the mouth
an itchy skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis” (http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac/index.htm).

Also, consider:

There is also an increased mortality rate in celiac disease that is about two to four times that of the general population. The increased mortality is mainly due to malignancies. The increased mortality returns to that of the general population after about 5 years on a gluten-free diet. This is the main reason that patients are advised to remain on a strict gluten-free diet”  http://www.celiacdiseasecenter.columbia.edu/A_Patients/A03-WhatAre.htm.

  Back to the original idea of a Soul-Search.  Does anyone really want to live with these symptoms?  Is a trade of an occasional piece of pizza or birthday cake really worth it?

  These are questions that only a person can answer for themselves.

  Now on the other hand, in the long run, I would guess that the long-term effects of Celiac Disease and the effects of these symptoms over time would ware any normal person down.  Thus perhaps create additional problems that become not only the concern of the afflicted, but also the concern of those who have to care for this person.  Then I think, would I want to be a burden to anyone else?  No, not really.

  So it comes down to the facts that Relapses with Gluten can lead to lots of pain for me as well as pain for others.  Totally uncool!  I don’t wan to hurt myself.  And I don’t want for anyone else to hurt because of me.  Surely, the fact that I have CD is not my fault.  And shame is probably NOT an effective way to prevent Gluten-Relapse.  But with the long-term as it appears to be and with clear choices that can certainly effect the present and probably the future.  I think I can choose to remain Gluten-Free.

  As for you or anyone else, I cannot say what they “SHOULD” do.  That’s why I suggest Soul-Searching.  According to WikiAnswers, “Soul Searching” is “The act of facing one’s inmost self with courage, determined to bring every ulterior thought, emotion, and motive to light”  (http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_does_soul_searching_mean). 

  I figure you can take it from here and do what is best.  As for me, I will try and try again.

Posted in 100 Ways to G-F Simplicity | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.